Rain harms the performance of driver assistance technology – AAA study

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The performance of advanced driver assistance technology used to help vehicles automatically brake and stay in lanes is significantly reduced by moderate and heavy rains, a study by the American Automobile Association showed Thursday.

Researchers from the AAA, a federation of North American automobile clubs, found that vehicle emergency braking systems, in several cases during simulated rains, no longer recognized vehicles stopped in front and that the emergency braking systems were no longer recognized. lane keeping vehicles performed significantly less well.

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This could lead to dangerous situations if drivers rely too much on the systems, whose performance is usually rated under ideal conditions, the researchers said.

“The reality is that people don’t always drive in perfect, sunny weather, so we need to expand the testing and take into consideration the issues people face in their day-to-day driving,” Greg Brannon, director of automotive engineering at AAA and industrial relations, said in a statement.

Advanced Driver Assistance Systems, or ADAS, are increasingly common in newer vehicles. They do not offer autonomous driving, but can automate limited driving tasks.

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Automatic emergency braking is increasingly provided as standard in new cars and has been shown to significantly reduce rear-end collisions in tests by insurance groups.

In the AAA study, no test car struck a stopped vehicle under ideal conditions. But in simulated precipitation, 17% of tests resulted in crashes at speeds of 25 mph (40 km / h), increasing to 33% at speeds of 35 mph (56 km / h).

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The pavement during the rain tests was dry and the researchers noted that wet roads could lead to even higher crash rates.

Vehicles equipped with lane-keeping technology crossed lane markers 37% of the time under ideal conditions in the AAA test, but that rate rose to 69% with added rain.

The group tested a 2020 Buick Enclave Avenir, a 2020 Hyundai Santa Fe, a 2020 Toyota RAV4 and a 2020 Volkswagen Tiguan.

(Reporting by Tina Bellon; Editing by Bernadette Baum)

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